Arizona Starbucks becomes 1st outside New York to unionize

Arizona Starbucks becomes 1st outside New York to unionize

Arizona Starbucks becomes 1st outside New York to unionize

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Employees at a Starbucks in suburban Phoenix voted Friday to form a union, becoming the first store outside New York to organize.

Several workers from a Mesa Starbucks store cheered and hugged at a local union hall after the results came in. Workers were overwhelmingly in favor of unionizing, voting 25-3. Forty-three ballots in total were initially mailed out, organizers said.

“The way that we smoked them with how many we got — yeses — that really shows that this is really a movement for people and we just want what is kind of an inalienable right for people,” said Liz Alanna, a shift supervisor at the store. “It feels good what we were fighting for, everybody wanted.”

Starbucks “will respect the process and will bargain in good faith,” spokesman Reggie Borges said in an email.

“We hope that the union does the same,” he added.

Pro-union leaders say Starbucks workers deserve the right to collectively bargain on issues like benefits, seniority pay and pandemic safety protocols.

Tyler Ralston, another shift supervisor, said he is excited that workers now may be able to make meaningful changes.

“We would like to be able to not feel understaffed. We would like to have better working conditions, having things fixed on time. A pension of course would be a great thing,” Ralston said.

Originally scheduled for last week, the election was postponed after Starbucks filed a request for a review with the Washington, D.C.-based National Labor Relations Board.

The Seattle-based coffee giant argued that a single store should not be allowed to hold a vote. Instead, a vote should include all the locations in that store’s assigned district.

Union wage deals